Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's all in the wrist

Last night was the final evening of Hanukkah. My family came over to my house to eat and celebrate. I have gifted myself with some new kitchen things for the holidays, first some white dishes from Ikea, which were $20 for a set of dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls for six. I decorated the table with a turquoise twin sheet, also purchased at Ikea for $5, snowflake-like doilies from the dollar store for $5, and napkins and votive holders from Big Lots for $10. The place cards were a total find at Publix when I was finishing up my grocery shopping. Total cost for tableware that I will use again for Christmas Eve - $35. Considering that my dishes previously were cobbled together from a set I had in college that is missing most of the pieces, a few from the thrift store, and some plastic ones from Target, this is a big step for me.
Of course, Hanukkah must include latkes. The technique is all in the wrist. You eat a lot of fried food, partly because the oil is symbolic of the lamp oil that lasted for eight nights, and also just because it is delicious. My mom is a master latke maker, which you must serve with applesauce and sour cream.
Penny Lane was tormented while we cooked and ate, especially because I made a new recipe for brussel sprouts with pancetta. Like a good part Jew puppy (it's legit from your mother's bloodline, so she's covered), she sniffed and snacked on crumbs all around the stove and the latkes fried. She was a maniac.
The brussel sprouts were sooooo good. It's a Nigella recipe from the Food Network. Words cannot express how delicious these are. Even if you don't like brussel sprouts, you will love these. Pancetta is like $10 a pound, so I considered just using bacon, but it was totally worth it. I left out the chestnuts and parsley but it was still amazing.
The evening was rounded out with a little dreidel spinning and gambling with chocolate gelt. We played "high stakes" dreidel, the competition was vicious. I'm kind of sad Hanukkah is over, I really enjoyed it this year. Even though I stumbled over the Hebrew readings, I got better and it was nice to spend some time each night with my heritage and remembering those who came before me.

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